Monthly Archives: June 2013

Marketing lessons from psychopaths

psychopath booksLike millions of you, I’ve been reading about the psychopaths in our midst. A slew of books posit the theory that roughly one in every 100 of us scores extremely highly in diagnostic checklists of certain personality traits – highly enough to be identified as a card-carrying psychopath.

This doesn’t mean one per cent of the population might, at any moment, extract their neighbour’s spleen and store it in the fridge next to the blancmange. Just because you are a psychopath, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to kill people.

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Metro MD Linda Grant reveals how newspapers benefit from Twitter

metro mastheadWe are probably all familiar with enhancing our television viewing experience by watching what people are saying about it on Twitter at the same time – and broadcasters now harness this habit for benefit. But newspapers are also getting in on the act. Linda Grant, managing director of UK-wide morning freesheet Metro, has said that they use Twitter to find out what readers are thinking, and that it contributes to the bottom line.

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Planes, trains and automobiles: how tech is changing travel

clip air

Our colleagues travelled back from Cannes with horror stories of delays and passport control. But what if they (and you) didn’t have the ubiquitous travel gripes?

ClipAir in Switzerland envisages a hassle-free world where you get on your train to the airport and then on arrival they just clip/unclip your carriage to the underside of a plane (pictured). By thinking about the relative ease of trains for transporting both goods and passengers, they’ve created a potentially game-changing new concept.


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Is the cookie uproar just a storm in a tea cup?

cookiesFrom brands to retailers to publishers, online marketers have gone from denial to acceptance as they face up to the slow demise of the cookie. Yet the reality is it is a good thing. Cookie-based marketing is an incredibly blunt tool in a time when finesse is required – and one that consumers increasingly resist.

Marketers are being encouraged to exploit in-depth consumer information to improve customer relevance and engagement. However, at best, cookies provide the basic age and gender information; they do not deliver attitudes, behaviour and activity. Cookies cannot enable the depth of targeting that could and should now be achieved.  Rather than fretting about their demise, marketers should be using this opportunity to become far more effective using better techniques to identify consumers. Permission-based models such as social login can transform customer insight and enable innovative targeting based on the customer’s own social network profile data.

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Petition websites and digital campaigning: are the ‘zombies’ here to stay?

38 degreesWhich organisation most riles politicians? One of the big banks? Bob Crow’s RMT trade union? Well according to a recent private poll of MPs, it’s actually the petition website 38 Degrees.

The site, which operates by sending thousands of identical emails to politicians in support of progressive causes, has caused a backlash among MPs. The Lib Dem Lord Tyler described it as a “rent a mob” and the then Health Minister Simon Burns MP branded their members “almost zombie like”. (This led to a horde of 92,000 members emailing the Minister to explain that they were not, in fact, zombies.) Read More »

Infographic: five rules for driving conversions via Facebook Exchange advertising

Facebook Exchange

How do you get the most from advertising on Facebook Exchange? We’ve spent the last nine months collecting conversion data from more than 1.5 billion FBX campaign impressions and can now reveal the top five things you need to know to drive successful conversion activity. Read More »

‘Brand is still King’ – patents can be a distraction

angry birdsThe ‘NOT SO SECRET E-COMMERCE ENTREPRENEUR’ continues… I do not know if Angry Birds, Moshi Monsters and The Sims have patents attached to them or not.

Either way I bet their rip roaring success is down more to the ‘traditional virtues’ of brand building – rather than a complex set of inventive digital coding steps. I say this because from time to time I get asked if I have any patents attached to the design of the AMANO Tongue Cleanser. The precise answer I give (after a slow intake of breathe) depends on how much I believe the questioner’s mind is set to ‘receive mode’.

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Understanding how to engage with consumers on their own terms

listening to customersOften, one of the hardest things for marketers to decide is exactly what they should do next. The beauty of social media is that every second of every day, customers are telling businesses precisely what they want, why they want it, and how they want to get it. You just have to listen.

Social media is the single largest source of unsolicited consumer opinions the world has ever seen. It’s an incredibly powerful channel for marketers to capture and distil this data for business use. In many ways this is market research turned on its head – we never need ask anyone a question, and yet they continue to offer opinions, insights and perspectives about us, our products, our competitors and their products – by the billion, day in day out. And what’s more, it’s a mostly untapped resource.

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‘Kiss me first’ – clever brand tie-in or a level of personalisation too far?

Kiss Me First appA new book exploring our digital lives – Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach – has come up with an innovative way to promote itself. You log into the app with Facebook - and it uses its access to your personal details to show just how easy it could be to impersonate you online. The book explores the murky world of our online personas, and how they can be exploited.

A video begins; a person using Facebook. But they’re logging into your Facebook, complete with your profile photo and updates from your friends on your timeline. A spreadsheet is shown full of your personal information. The execution of the app is convincing – it even showed the imposter talking to my boyfriend on Facebook chat. It’s very clever, and a little chilling; you see exactly how easy it would be to have your identity stolen.

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How Google and Waze are revolutionising real-time data

wazeJust over a week ago, Google bought up what, up until now, has been seen as a thriving, yet not hugely influential social network call Waze. A niche network of drivers who use the service to report traffic problems, and so help the community avoid jams, Waze is a fantastic example of real-time data driving genuine results for users. Google is to be commended for seeing the far reaching potential of such a technology, and almost prescient in understanding how real-time data can be used across the technology spectrum. Read More »